Politics

You are becoming a threat to democracy – NPP attacks Mahama

The governing New Patriotic Party has described false, claims by former President John Mahama that his emoluments are not being paid to him by the state.

A few days ago, Mr Mahama said he pays his utility bills and receives nothing from the state for his accommodation contrary to claims made by the governing New Patriotic Party’s Bono regional chairman Kwame Baffoe (Abronye DC) about a week ago that the 2020 flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has, since 2017, swallowed ¢15.6 million of state funds as part of his emoluments apart from receiving ¢14 million as ex gratia in 2013.

Mr Mahama, in an interview with Accra-based TV3 on Monday, 12 September 2022, said: “I receive only my monthly pension, like President Kufuor or President Rawlings was receiving until he died. That is all I get.”

“I pay the electricity bill for my house, for my office. I pay the water bill for my house and my office. I live in my own accommodation so the state does not pay me anything for accommodation,” Mr Mahama said.

According to the former President, contrary to the tall list of expenses Abronye DC claimed the state is making on him, the only lump sum he received was “¢230,000 as salary arrears in 2013”.

“Normally, when you leave, they approve what should be done for you, but it is not being done for me,” he added.

However, at a press conference addressed by the party’s director of communication, Dr Richard Ahiagbah, the NPP said: “We have evidence of correspondence between former President Mahama’s office and the Chief of Staff contradicting his claims on the Ghana Tonight Show. We also have a letter from the former President’s office introducing his staff and who the state should pay. We have correspondences from the office of the Chief of Staff facilitating the payment of these salaries”.

The party added: “There is something very cynical about the former President’s blatant falsehoods about his enjoyment of the privileges of Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution. Ladies and gentlemen, we have assembled the relevant documentation that suggests former President Mahama is enjoying and has not been denied any of his article 71 guaranteed benefits”.

Read the full statement below:

PRESS CONFERENCE BY THE NPP, ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, MR RICHARD AHIAGBAH

1.            Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we have invited you to this press conference to expose the insincerity, inconsistency and lack of seriousness of former President John Dramani Mahama about governance issues (hereafter Mahama).

2.            Unfortunately, for Ghanaians, former President Mahama has brought his posturing to the Article 71 issues, creating the impression that given the political opportunity, he will amend it. However, this posturing on the repeal of Article 71 is inconsistent with the opportunities he had gotten to amend it when he had power as the Vice-President and President of this Republic effectively between 2009—2017.

3.            Members of the press, on this matter, former President Mahama is all talk and no action because he has had every opportunity to repeal Article 71 as President of this Republic, but he failed to do so.

4.            Recall that the Constitution Review Commission set up by the Mills-Mahama administration submitted its report on 20th December 2011, and the government issued a white paper accepting, among other things, the portion of the review relative to the provisions of Article 71.

5.            Permit me to quote from the white paper an item captured under issue eight: Determinization of the Conditions of Service of Some Public Officers by the President. “Government accepts the recommendation that an Independent Emoluments Commission should be established to determine the salaries, allowances and emoluments of all public officers, from the President to the lowest ranking public officer.”

6.            Mahama became President in 2012, barely a year after the acceptance of the recommendations of the Constitution Review Commission. All President Mahama needed to do was to present a draft bill to parliament, per Article 290 (2), to trigger the amendment process. But as the talk master general, former president Mahama did not act on the white paper. Instead, he ignored the white paper to create and benefited from emolument committees—two of them.

7.            Indeed, former President Mahama is the first living and serving President who added his spouse to the under-table payments, which used to be for widows of former Presidents only. How insincere and confused can a former President be if not for political mischief?

8.            So, from all indications, former president Mahama loves Article 71 because he preserved it for himself when he got the golden opportunity to repeal it. In other words, what former president Mahama is saying today cannot be taken seriously because he has already failed Ghanaians on this matter. However, if former Mahama wants to be taken seriously, he should go ahead and repudiate all the Article 71 benefits he has gladly enjoyed from 2013 to date. But trust me, former president Mahama will not renounce these benefits because he loves the provisions of Article 71.

9.            Ladies and gentlemen of the media, I am sure you watched former president Mahama’s interview with Alfred Ocansey on TV3’s Ghana Tonight show, where he said that the government does not take care of his expenses as a former president and beneficiary of Article 71. He said he takes care of all his bills, including his rented office and staff salaries. But is it true that the former President is denied his entitlements as provided for by law?

10.          We have evidence of correspondence between former President Mahama’s office and the Chief of Staff contradicting his claims on the Ghana Tonight Show. We also have a letter from the former President’s office introducing his staff and who the state should pay. We have correspondences from the office of the Chief of Staff facilitating the payment of these salaries.

11.          There is something very cynical about the former President’s blatant falsehoods about his enjoyment of the privileges of Article 71 of the 1992 Constitution. Ladies and gentlemen, we have assembled the relevant documentation that suggests former President Mahama is enjoying and has not been denied any of his article 71 guaranteed benefits.

12.          Ladies and gentlemen, the conduct of former President Mahama threatens our democracy, peace, and security. So, the question is, what does former President Mahama want to achieve with these needless falsehoods? Could it be so that he can pretend to champion the clamor for the repeal of Article 71? Evidence of this rather unholy politics of former President Mahama abound.

13.          Former President Mahama’s denial that he is actively accessing his emolument benefits simply exploits the sympathies of unsuspecting Ghanaians. There is no record anywhere that former President Mahama has been renounced or that the government has denied former President Mahama his emolument or entitlement. These bizarre and downright false claims by the former President speak to a grand electoral strategy driven by desperation and deception.

14.          You recall that on 22nd October 2020, Mahama promised to grant galamseyers amnesty if he won the election for President. Now contrast this amnesty position with what former President Mahama said on the Ghana Tonight show about President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo needing to resign because he vouched to fight galamsey, whatever the cost.

15.          In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to ask a favour; please inquire from former President Mahama—how does granting amnesty to galamseyers contribute to the fight against galamsey? But do not hold your breath because this talk about amnesty is no different from the NDC’s promise to offer a one-time NHIS premium.

16.            We believe that former President Mahama is pounding the pavements about article 71 because he is trying to exploit the difficulties related to the global cost of living crisis. When former President Mahama addresses international fora, he concedes that Africa’s economy has virtually been collapsed by the twin factors of Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war. However, in Ghana, former President Mahama pretends that the Covid-19 and Russia-Ukraine war has nothing to do with the cost-of-living difficulties. As a champion of the IMF, he is now fighting the IMF for confirming that Ghana’s economic challenges are not due to bad policy choices but to the severe impact of Covid-19 and the war. This is the insincerity of former President Mahama continuing to make political promises he does not intend to keep.

17.          So, you understand that all former President Mahama is doing is what he has always done: to prey on the emotions of Ghanaians and leverage the resulting fear and worry for his politics. Mahama is not about the work; he is only about the talk.

18.          Thank you

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